The charter recognises a number of rights - such as freedom of speech and fair working conditions - but will not be incorporated into European law.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights was agreed by the European Council at Nice in December 2000. The Charter sets out the rights EU citizens enjoy. These rights derive from the EU Treaties and related case-law, the European Convention on Human Rights and its case law, the Social Charters of the Union and the Council of Europe and the constitutional traditions and international obligations common to Member States. The Charter sets out these rights in one single text for the first time. The Charter forms Part Two of the Constitution and will apply to the EU Institutions and to Member States only when implementing EU law.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights aims to consolidate the fundamental rights applicable at EU level in a single document to raise awareness of them. It is based on the Community Treaties, international conventions such as the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and the 1989 European Social Charter, constitutional traditions common to the Member States and various European Parliament Declarations. Adopted in 2000, it defines fundamental rights relating to dignity, liberty, equality, solidarity, citizenship and justice. EU leaders have so far been unable to agree to incorporate it into the Treaties to make it legally binding, however the Court of Justice uses it as a guide in making its judgements.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union consolidates rights contained in Community Treaties, EC Court of Justice case-law, international conventions, constitutional traditions common to the Member States and a range of European Parliament declarations. (See Fundamental rights: EU Charter)
Following the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 1998, the Cologne European Council (3 and 4 June 1999) decided to begin work on drafting a charter of fundamental rights. The aim was that the fundamental rights applicable at Union level should be consolidated in a single document to raise awareness of them. The Charter is based on the Community Treaties, international conventions such as the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and the 1989 European Social Charter, constitutional traditions common to the Member States and various European Parliament declarations. The Charter of Fundamental rights has been incorporated into the new EU Constitution.
a document that sets out the rights of citizens within the EU. The constitution al treaty would turn it from a simple declaration into a part of European law, binding on the EU institutions but not the member states. (more information)